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Finally a good pup mounting method

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Hambone, Apr 17, 2005.


  1. Well it took 7 basses and I finally figured out a way to mount pickups that takes play out, eliminates the awful screws, and looks good. These are 6-32 x 1.25" grade 8 hardened hex head screws that have a snug fit in the bosses on the sides of the pickups. The screws thread into brass inserts that are pressed and glued into the bottom of the cavity. The hole is extended for the screw to have clearance. They stand up strong and firm and elevate with very positive action. And I dare you to strip one of these babies.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. thisSNsucks

    thisSNsucks

    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    Hey I know a guy whos bass is gonna have that done ;)
     
  3. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Looks pretty cool! Technique noted.
     
  4. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I'm doing that to my jazz, asap. And my P bass, and possibly my conklin. Oh, and definitely my p-bass' neck.
     
  5. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    Sounds like a pretty sweet idea. Looks like a pretty nice bass too. I sure would like to play it!

    :)
     
  6. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    I started "insertizing" my neck today. I bought the stuff to do it to the bridge, but I discovered that the brass inserts I got are CRAP. On the neck job, I couldn't get even one insert to screw in completely without part of the slotted bit breaking off. Now I'm without a bass until my steel inserts from McMaster arrive.

    Wait, I do have the rubberband bass. :smug:
     
  7. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    My local do it best store has some really good ones, and even has some stainless steel screws that would work great. They even now have chrome screws, too.
     
  8. Suburban

    Suburban

    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Yep, that's great.
    But how do you spring the thing up? (i.e. push the pup up, so it doesn't just fall to the bottom of the pit)
     
  9. rusty

    rusty

    Mar 29, 2004
    Singapore
    I think most people put a piece of foam underneath the pup for that purpose :)

    Hambone - please forgive me if this is a stupid question, is the pup cavity painted with some kinda shielding paint? I like the way you stamped your nick in the cavity - neat idea :D
     
  10. rdhbass

    rdhbass

    Jun 28, 2003
    Springfield, mo
    You are right-on on the brass inserts, I just finished putting brass inserts in my P neck and I had to redo about 3 of them untill I got them down in the hole. They are very soft and a person absolutely has to make the hole oversized to get them to screw inside. They break very easily and 2 of those damn inserts at Lowes in a package are like $1.25 if I remember. Heheh.
     
  11. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    That's where I bought mine yesterday -- $1.15 for 2 little inserts. :rolleyes: I bought 9 packs yesterday. The first three because for whatever reason, the 8-32 spot was full of 10-24 inserts, the second 3 were the right size (but kept breaking), and the last 3 haven't been used yet, but after yesterdays incident, their getting returned this morning. :spit:

    But since the inserts mentioned for that pup mount are press in, I don't think anyone will have this problem.
     
  12. Gents, steer clear of the brass inserts for neck installation. The brass, being much softer, don't offer the same amount of strength the steel do. I use steel inserts with knife threads that really lock into the wood. You won't have any trouble down the road using the stainless steel hardware with the steel inserts because the stainless bolts are slightly softer than the inserts. That way, if something gets bunged up, it will most likely be the bolt and not the insert. It's more convenient to replace the bolt than to have to dig out an insert.

    I'm going to be putting together packages of steel inserts and stainless steel bolts so that everything can be kept in one place and this constant searching can be halted.

    BTW, I used 1/4-20's on my first bass - whew!, that was overkill! you could pull a boat trailer with that junction. Now I use 10-24's for my necks and they match the usual Fender type plates or the ferrules offered by places like Allparts.
     
  13. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Odd... I was about to PM you to ask if you would sell me 4 inserts. I sure do like this "Open Account" option McMaster has, though.

    I was thinking... I bet you could do something like this with a fingerboard. Drill a hole at various fret markers and at that spot in the neck, put in an insert and bolt in the board. This way, you could switch from fretted to fretless all on the same instrument. Heck, just assemble the whole instrument with machine screws (they look like bolts to me) and inserts -- neck, pickguard, pups, side jack plate, bridge, rear cavity cover, etc.!
     
  14. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    That's a sweet looking bass 'Bone...I was shipped the same kind of set-up with my Dingwall pup's recently and was cautioned against using them..the reason given was that over the long term, when moisture wicks down around the fastener it can loosen the insert from the wood. Because there is a lot less wood material left when using an insert, as apposed to a "wood screw" it is more difficult to repair...because I fully trust my tech, and I plan on having the bass forever I went with his advise, plus I can always install them later if the screws start to bother me to badly...what do you guys think about this??
     
  15. Pete skjold

    Pete skjold

    May 29, 2004
    Warsaw Ohio

    I discovered the way the pros do it a couple years ago. Take one of the screws and cut it off so it only is the length of the insert. Thread it in all the way and use the screw head as your driver , once it is in all the way you can back out the screw and you haven't ruined the slot on the insert.

    Hope this might help,

    Pete
     
  16. That's interesting. I hadn't thought that far ahead that moisture would actually wick down the screw to damage the body like that. I guess that's the benefit of having seen more instruments than I have. The press-in style inserts are certainly the weakest of the different types and this application has them gripping in a thickness not much more than their own body depth. To compensate for the minimal contact, I chose to superglue the inserts in place. When I did that I also spread a liberal amount of glue around the insert's perimeter to seal it in. By making a skin filling the void and spreading out like a big washer, I figure I might keep the insert in there longer. I don't think moisture would pose a problem either.
    The screw bosses on the sides of the pickups had to be enlarged ever so slightly so they are a very tight slip fit over the smooth shoulders of the screws. They measure about 1/2" deep but only have about 3/8" of it in contact with the screw itself. That's a lot of tight sleeve for moisture to make it's way through. Besides, after that, it would still have to get past the thick neoprene foam that is under the pickups and comes in contact with each of the screws. I'm confident that whatever I've done here won't be threatened with moisture.
     
  17. Soon, very, very soon.
     
  18. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Might that be Puarija's bass? I'm on to you... :ninja:

    I don't think moisture will be a problem, as long as the cavities had finish applyed to them, too. With the super glue around the insert like that, it should provide a waterproof seal. But then there's the bare wood exposed through the inner part of the insert, unless you squirt some glue in there, as well.
     
  19. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Cyanoacrylate glue will soak into the wood, and solidify the connection to the insert. It works very well for installing studs for bridges and tailpieces for example. This works great for preventing any moisture problems. I used in on a guitar with a floyd rose bridge, and it worked wonderfully.
     
  20. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers



    :bag: